MANILA - About 2.99 million Filipinos were jobless in June as the Philippines' unemployment rate remained steady at 6 percent coming from May, the state statistics bureau said Monday.
In May, the unemployment rate was also at 6 percent, but there were 2.93 million workers who were counted as jobless, the Philippine Statistics Authority said.
Although the rate was unchanged, employed individuals in June 2022 rose by 508,000 compared to May, said National Statistician Dennis Mapa.
While the jobless rate remained steady, June had a higher number of employed people because more people entered the workforce.
The unemployment rate in June was also an improvement from the same month in 2021, which was 7.7 percent, equivalent to 3.77 million who were jobless.
Meanwhile, the underemployment rate, which counts workers who seek more jobs or work hours, settled at 12.6 percent in June, equivalent to 5.89 million.
June's underemployment rate was also an improvement compared to May's 14.5 percent or 6.67 million and June 2021's 14.2 percent with 6.41 million, the PSA said.
The employment rate for June 2022 was at 94 percent, equivalent to 46.59 million, the PSA said.
Sectors which registered high growth include industry, agriculture and services sectors.
Employment also grew across all sectors, particularly in the industry, agriculture, and services sectors amidst the easing of restrictions.
The labor force participation, or those part of the labor market, is at 64.8 percent in June, or equivalent to 49.58 million. This is higher than May's 64 percent or 49.01 million.
Compared to June 2021, over 1.5 million Filipinos joined the labor force in June 2022, data showed.
Despite the slight jobs decline in select sectors, improvement in employment and labor force participation, as well as the lower decline in select industries, signal the reinvigoration of the economy, Mapa said.
“Bumalik na ang sigla ng economy based on the number….May mga sector na gumana ang activity, yung wholesale at retail trade. Yung mga mall nagbubukas,” Mapa said.
(The economy is reinvigorated based on the numbers... There are sectors with improved activity like wholesale and retail trade since the malls are reopening.)
According to data, more workers said they're working for more than 40 hours a week.
"What we’re seeing is that the opening of the economy natin, tumataas ang labor force participation rate. Tumataas and employment, the trend is that unemployment rate in the last 6 months is going down."
(Our labor force participation rate is higher, employment is higher. The decline in the unemployment rate is consistent in the last 6 months)
Analysts and businesses are betting on continued economic recovery for further job generation.
But the country needs a "safe and full reopening to return to high-growth path, the National Economic and Development Authority said in a statement.
“In the near term, we will prioritize the immediate issues of rising inflation, the vulnerability of certain groups to shocks, and the pandemic-induced scarring to ensure that growth and employment gains are sustained,” NEDA Director General Arsenio Balisacan said.
“The latest data show a significant increase in the number of workers employed on a full-time basis. While this is a good indication of the improving quality of work in our country, the government should incessantly boost its efforts towards providing an environment conducive to the creation of more and better employment opportunities,” Balisacan added.
He added that the resumption of face-to-face classes and the shift to endemic from pandemic mindset is critical in generating more employment and the overall economic recovery.